The invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces led not only to new sanctions by the United States and the European Union against Russia, but also to a variety of bans on Russia-based operations of entities, and even dead famous Russian novelist, Dostoyevsky.
The Russian state media is one of the main targets, with top Western state officials making open pledges to get rid of it completely, feeling no need to answer any concerns about freedom of the press. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said on 27 February that Russian state media will be banned within the European Union.
As Youtube subsequently blocked the accounts of Russian media outlets Sputnik News and Russia Today, Twitter started labelling journalists who’re currently employed, or who’d been employed in the past, by Sputnik.
One who has been labelled as ‘Russian state media’ is the Turkish journalist Anıl Tuncer who had ceased working for Sputnik Turkish eight months ago.
Another one is Elif Sudagezer, also a Turkish journalist and currently the news coordinator of Sputnik Turkish.
Contemporary Journalists’ Association (ÇGD) in Turkey released a written statement on Tuesday, criticising the labelling of journalists by Twitter. It said:
“Our colleagues who are working for the Russian state-owned media organisation Sputnik, with Turkish journalists among them, have been labelled as ‘Russian state media’ by Twitter. Such measures, which are taken at a time when journalists are working in extremely difficult conditions due to the war, are not in the interest of peace, but actually amounts to making the war even messier than it already is. We condemn Twitter, and urge it to end its labeling of journalists.”
University bans Dostoyevsky, then backtracks
Another move came from an Italian university who postponed a course about the work of Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, then backtracked upon reactions.
Italian writer Paolo Nori posted a video on Instagram on Tuesday saying he had received an e-mail from officials at the University of Milano-Bicocca, in Milan, informing him of the decision to postpone his course following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.